The heart of winter calls for comfort foods and this chicken and mushroom pot pie is the perfect dish!
Last night was the winter solstice. Not only are we officially in the middle of winter, but it has been feeling decidedly wintery too. This means we've reverted to many of our favourite winter dishes for comfort and warmth in an attempt to create more hygge in our home. We've teamed up with The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association and tried out some of their winter recipes. This chicken and mushroom pot pie has been one of the most popular in our home.
Mushrooms - The Ultimate Winter Ingredient
Mushrooms are one of my ultimate winter ingredients, not only because of their incredible health benefits, but their umami. Umumi (or savory taste) is an important concept in Japanese cooking. Foods, like mushrooms, that have strong umami flavours are ideal for adding a distinct taste to soups, broths, stews etc.
The traditional 'tongue map' in which different tastes are distributed in different regions of the tongue has been proven incorrect. Most taste buds on the tongue and other regions of the mouth can detect umami taste, irrespective of their location. This makes ingredients like mushrooms all the more important for adding richness and flavour to winter dishes.
The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association has more about umami HERE.
Chicken & Mushroom Pot Pie
Chicken and mushroom pot pie brings back all kinds of memories for me. Childhood memories of eating it with my sisters (we would peel the pastry off the top and eat that last), and adult memories of pub lunches with friends. Nostalgic dishes are the perfect way to bring hygge into your home in winter. Sitting around the table, recounting memories with family is one of the greatest joys.
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 leeks, sliced into rounds
250g button mushrooms, quartered
50ml white wine or vermouth
500g cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
100g frozen peas
1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, beaten
For the sauce:
3 1/2 Tbs butter
2 1/2 Tbs flour
500ml hot chicken stock
few sprigs of thyme (or any woody herb you prefer)
small bunch chives, snipped
handful of parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
Heat the oil and butter in a large pan.
Cook the onion, carrots and leeks until soft, stirring occasionally.
Season, add the mushrooms and wine, and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the chicken and peas and set aside.
For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a heavy based pan over low heat.
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
Slowly pour in the hot stock and cream, whisking continuously, and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Season to taste and add the herbs.
Combine the chicken mixture and sauce and place in a 30x20cm ovenproof dish.
Lay the pastry on top of the filling, crimping the edges and trimming off any excess.
Pierce the pastry to allow steam to escape and brush with egg.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Check back in next Monday to see what other delicious mushroom winter comfort foods we make with The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association.
DISCLAIMER: This post was sponsored by The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association. The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association provided me with this recipes and associated images. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and / or its affiliates, in any way. The fact is, I'm crazy about mushrooms, and want to shout it from the rooftops anyway.